Inspiration / Style

Bend the Rules



A few weeks ago Em and I ran across the HP x360 Behind The Scenes video, and we thought it would be fun to have a chance to  ‘Bend the Rules’ here.

So often we show you the finished product of everything we are working on, whether it’s an outfit or an experience, we like to wrap it up all nicely for you here to show you something strong, polished and perfect.

But to break out of the box we decided we would show you what a Real Day in the Life of Bi-Coastal bloggers/writers/photographers/stylists/speakers looks like… warning, it’s a little messy, cause we are messy.  But there might be even more beauty not just in spite of, but because of the mess.


“Oh my gosh I love your pants?  They’re so cute!  Where are they from?”

“They’re the pixie pant from J.Crew”.

That was my first interaction with Emily about 6 years ago, and I’m pretty sure it sealed our friendship.

Em was just getting her photography business up and running, and I was just learning how to turn on a camera.  She was attending a photography workshop that I was producing for my boss at the time in San Jose CA.  Even though she lived in San Francisco and I lived in Newport Beach and we had just spent one day together at a photography workshop we became fast friends.

Six years later, and so much has changed for both of us.

From moves, to house remodels, to becoming a mom (Em…not me), to moving cross country (me…not Em), to starting new businesses, to Paris, to yoga classes, to new friends, to shooting in Bali, to endless boring days editing behind computers, to taking a leap of faith and starting this little blog.

Em and I may live cross country from each other, and so much about our day to day lives looks so different but we love what we get to create together.  And above any of that I’m grateful for her voice and friendship in my life. Bendtherules-6 Em:  Being a mom and owning your own business is one thing.  But owning your own business, starting a second new business, and trying to be a productive team to The Refined Woman, well some times it’s a little nuts, but in the best way.

Most mornings I am lucky enough to have my husband’s help with our daughter, and on shoot days it’s essential! I probably don’t always have time to have coffee in bed with the newest copy of restoration hardware but sometimes I sneak in a little me time. Bendtherules-4 Kat:  Waking up for me is a struggle fest.  I am that girl that sleeps with ear plugs and an eye mask.  (Hey…I live in New York; it’s loud here!).  Since I run my own business and work from home, cafes, or on location I have to be disciplined about starting my day off early and with a plan or else it’ll be 1p.m. and I’m in my PJ’s watching Netflix.

First things first:  Coffee, Bible, and journal.  (yes…in that order).  I really try and not check my email or social media until I’ve been up for at least an hour and have had some space to journal and pray and caffeinate.  Bendtherules-9 Em:  Then it’s packing up the car while my mom watches our daughter Charlie (it takes a village!) and I’m off.  Today I’m helping my friends at Type A Society with a shoot they’re doing with Feather + Stone Photography and Studio Mondine. I picked up a mattress and bed frame at the prop co-op and donuts on the way to our shoot.   While we’re there I’m steaming, hauling equipment, and shooting iPhone pics behind the scenes. (#donthatemyjob) Bendtherules-3 Kat:  Depending on the day, I’ll either edit from home or a local cafe.  Often times I’ll have an engagement session in the city and then an hour or so break before a client meeting.  So I’ll post up at a coffee shop and go through images, read, or edit.  The thing about leaving your house in the morning when you live here is that you typically won’t go back home.  So you need to have all your stuff for the entire on your person (gear, work out clothes, snacks, computer…the essentials).


Em:  That night we’re too pooped to cook so we walk over to our neighborhood pizza place.  They make the best thin crust Italian style pizza anywhere, and they know us by name.  If we aren’t there in person one of us is always picking up takeout and bringing it home.

Bendtherules-2 Kat: After client meetings and shoots; it’s back to the office…aka a cafe.  It’s always better when I have a friend and other creative with me.  Tutti and I work together a lot, and there’s usually lots of  laughter, talking, dreaming, work being done. Bendtherules-8 Em:  Charlie goes to bed early (mom and dad love that!!) and so we get our snuggles in, read some books (mainly she’s just crawling all over us while we attempt to read) and she’s off to bed.  Then it’s time for couch and sweatpants, or running to Target for last minute shoot items, or editing photos, or catching up on Game of Thrones.  Bendtherules-1 Kat:  Yoga.  If you follow me even a little on social media you know that yoga is a big part of my life.  It’s been such a blessing to my body and mind.  My workday ends a lot of days with Tutti and me doing rooftop yoga in Brooklyn and than having a nice cold glass of Rosé.

If you haven’t seen the HP x360 Behind The Scenes video you should check it out! We loved seeing the way all the artists came together to breathe life into a project and make something beautiful. In a way that’s what Em and I hope to do here, bring our unique hearts together to really breathe life into The Refined Woman.

It’s a constant collaboration here between Em + I, and if you saw our text message thread you’d be convinced. But the ways we are different makes the final outcome even better than if we were doing this thing on our own, which is what really stands out to us in the video. Collaboration can be tricky sometimes but it’s what makes us stand out and helps us make something worthwhile here.

As always we are so excited to have you along for the ride.


Kat + Em


Photos of Kat c/o:  Chaz Cruz + Tutti del Monte


*this post is in collaboration with HP. thank you for supporting posts that keep The Refined Woman’s doors open*

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